Celtic legend Mikael Lustig has been named in Voetball Nieuws’ flop team of the season, after his summer move from Parkhead to Gent.
Lustig left Celtic Park a hero after securing 16 trophies in an eight-year spell in Glasgow. The Swedish international managed to make 276 appearances for the Hoops during his trophy-laden stint at the club (Transfermarkt).
However, his summer move to Gent hasn’t proven to be a successful one so far. Despite making 30 appearances for the Belgian outfit (Transfermarkt), Lustig has recently lost his place in the side. He’s only played one of Gent’s last eight matches in the league, with Alessio Castro-Montes taking his place.
Belgian media outlet Voetball Nieuws certainly haven’t let it fly either. Naming their flop team of the Belgian Jupiler Pro League season, Lustig was one of the names on the teamsheet as they said the following about the Celtic icon:
“It’s maybe harsh on Lustig because he often played for Gent, especially in Europe.
“But after a flying start, with three assists in the league, he lost his place to Alessio Castro-Montes at right back. He was a free transfer so it wasn’t an expensive blunder, but he was a fairly unnecessary transfer.”
Lustig has played his part
Being described as a flop is surely unfair on Lustig’s part. After all, he started all six of Gent’s group stage matches in the Europa League to help them qualify for the last-32.
Yes, Roma may have knocked them out in the latter stages, but is there any shame in that? Gent only lost 2-1 on aggregate, with Lustig playing the full 90 minutes in Rome.
He does only have five assists in 30 appearances, and he’ll undoubtedly be disappointed with that. But flop is surely far too strong a term for the Swede.
A flop would suggest a player who’s made no impact and is a massive waste of a signing. Lustig hasn’t proven to be that for Gent. Whether he’s been disappointing or not, to suggest that he’s been a waste of a transfer is harsh given the contribution he’s made.
Perhaps he’s been given this spot due to what Gent and the Belgian football media expected from him. Lustig had done it all at Celtic. He arrived in Belgium having won 16 competitions with the Hoops, whilst also playing consistent Champions League, Europa League, and international football throughout his career.
However, that expectation should’ve been tamed. Gent signed Lustig on a free for a reason. He was entering the latter stages of his career and was slowing up. Even then, he’s still managed to play his part with 30 appearances for the Belgians.
To suggest that points to a flop is pretty ridiculous. Disappointing? Perhaps. Flop? Now that’s just going over the top.